Thursday, June 9, 2011

So much can happen in a couple months...

Adventure to Longwood Gardens
Well, it's been two months since my last post and it's been a wild and crazy ride.  For starters, my little girl has turned 2.  I can hardly believe that it's been 2 years since we took her home from the hospital as new parents...Now, she's running and talking and singing all over the house and I can't remember what it was like when she wasn't here grabbing onto my legs.

So what' been happening since my last post?

1.  My daughter has completely given up on the high chair or anything resembling a high chair.  In the weeks leading up to her birthday meal times became unbearable.  She threw a fit every time we strapped her into the high chair and once she really got worked up she refused to eat...It was no fun for any of us so one night we just decided to let her sit in a seat at the table.  No booster, no lap, just a chair at the table.  Meal times, while not perfect, are much better.  Sure it's messier and she sometimes runs off, but for the most part she's taken to the 'Big Girl Seat' with relative ease.

2.  We threw our first birthday party.  Our little girl loves animals, so we decided early on that her 2nd birthday would be at a local zoo.  This zoo is on the grounds of a county park so we were able to rent a pavilion and invite all of her closest friends (5 kids) and family.  We had beautiful weather and she quickly wore herself out looking for her favorite animals and running around the playgrounds.  As a parent it was exhausting...But it was great to see her having a good time.  Her 1st birthday was a low key event, just pizza and cake and family.  This was definitely a step up and we all came out of it unscathed.

3.  The week before the party I ran in the Broad St. Run in Philadelphia.  This 10 mile race takes your right through the city of brotherly love.  It was my second time running the race.  Last year I finished in just under 2 hours.  This year I trained much harder, lost some weight, and finished in 1 hr 22 minutes.  It was quite an accomplishment for me.  It was hard to find the motivation to keep training, but I forced myself to stay active because I know exercise will help keep me healthy.

Up until recently I did not live a healthy lifestyle.  I ate too much and was very inactive.  But since becoming a father I am trying to change that.  It's a daily challenge but the race really motivated me to keep up the hard work. 

4.  During the race training period, I was also participating in a 'Biggest Loser' contest at work.  I was able to turn the training into weight loss and since March 14, 2011 I've run almost 270 miles and I've lost 28lbs.  This week I turned 32 and I am in better shape now than when I was 22.  I want my daughter to grow up with a healthy dad.  I want to lead by example and I want to be able to keep up with her and stand by her through all of her adventures.

We've been busy the last couple of months and I haven't given the blog the time it deserves.  The time I'm not spending here I am spending with my two favorite people, my wife and daughter...I can't wait to see how the next two months turn out.  Hopefully, I'll be posting again soon!


Jane said...

I read your story on the CNN website today, 6/17/11. I commend you for your determination and commitment not to let fear interfere with your relationship with food. Food nourishes us--it keep us alive. It's not the enemy. I agree that portion size is the key. Fitness is good for general health, but I know I can eat way more calories in 20 minutes than I can burn off in the same period of exercise. One thing that has helped me manage my weight is to recognize that even when there is still tasty food available to me after I have had enough, tasty food will always be available to me in the future as well. That particular moment is not the only time that food will be around. It helps me stop when my body has been refueled and keeps me from overeating. Keep us the good work.

J Welch said...

Doug, I just read your story on CNN. So inspiring. Keep up the good work!!!!!

MA said...

I my self lost 112 pounds since last fall. Now I am struggling with extra skin, specially around the middle. I have been walking, and light exercises....any suggestions? You look great!

rungordorun said...

I shared your CNN story on my blog. Keep up the good work. Inspiring to all of us in the struggle. -RunGordoRun

Anonymous said...

I also read your story on CNN and to be honest its one of the best stories they have had in a long time. This is the kind of motivation that a father of 2 (like myself) needs. Its easy for people to say "eat healthy" or "eat less" but most dont elaborate on what exactly that means. Your story is similar to mine in terms of the, sometimes, constant struggle. I am about 30lbs overweight which isnt much to most people but as someone who grew up fit and active its rough. The hard part is making the change from athletic 18 year old to full time job/dad. Finding the time for sports is not always easy. I used to be able to spend 4-5 hours a day swimming or playing soccer but its not that simple any longer. The best thing I read (i think it was in the article) was when you said "get off my butt." I really think thats the biggest factor.

The biggest loser challenge at work is also a very cool idea. I bring my 'perfect pushup' devices to work for breaks and stuff now but adding friendly competition always makes things easier.

fieldingcarroll said...

I have a question for you, Doug, and I would love to hear a response. I've been studying diet and it's relation to disease for some time now. I regularly recommend people who need to lose weight or reverse a chronic illness adopt a diet that is both gluten-free and dairy-free. I tell them to eat according to their body's desires after that, while making raw salads at least 33% of the diet and cooked food and snacks the remaining 66%. In my estimation, unless someone is eating blatantly unhealthy gluten and dairy-free foods, it is virtually impossible to to remain over weight or to gain weight, unless you are malnourished via a chronic illness. My question to you is, have you ever tried to adopt this approach, and\or would you be willing to try? I'm sure you enjoy running, but that you need to run as much as you do and eat as little as you do is not natural and if anything is requiring more work, discipline, and energy than simply eating a gluten\dairy-free diet with moderate amounts of exercise. What concerns me is you could be taxing your heart and unnecessarily the rest of your body simply because you are not eating a natural diet for our species.
There is a book called Dangerous Grains that can lay this out more eloquently than I can now. I would highly recommend it. I wish you the best and thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the very inspiring story on CNN. I too struggle with my weight and I am working on trying to lose the extra pounds. I know how hard you must have had to work in order to accomplish your goals. Congratulations!

Kamika said...

Hi Doug,

I just read your story on CNN! Congratulations for getting your story out there. 'Going public' can really help cement, in our minds, any new narrative we're writing about/for ourselves.

I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, living in DC. My husband and I care deeply about health and well-being, especially for the motivation you and your wife use (i.e. staying healthy to be around for each other and loved ones).

The plan you've come up with is one that I recommend to clients time and again. Sensible eating and regular exercise. It's that simple.

There is no magic formula for overall health, but the above steps are a good way to keep weight off and feel well.

So, congratulations again! I don't know much about your diet other than what I read on CNN, but I think I can see a couple easy changes you could make to make it even better!

What you eat sounds remarkably similar to my husband's former diet. Like, you he struggled a bit with weight, and wanted to keep that middle whittled. So, he took a look at what was arguably a healthy diet and found that the 'natural cereal' he was eating every day actually had a lot of sugar in it, so he replaced it with either eggs (1 egg + 2 whites), steel-cut oats, or a piece of all-rye toast with almond butter. We also stopped eating cheese for the most part, except cheese that is very low in fat (but high in flavour) like Parmesean. When we eat something like pizza, we either make it ourselves with Parmesean or order 'easy cheese' (just tell them to go very light on the cheese) if you're ordering pizza or eating out. Another thing that might help is that we stopped eating most refined carbohydrates. So, we don't have much in terms of bread, pita, wraps, pasta, etc. This is pretty hard to do at first, but now we are used to eating mostly protein and vegetables and we miss it when we have a starchier meal. We still eat brown rice once or twice a week, oats almost every day, other whole grains (like quinoa) and the occasional treat starch (like whole wheat pasta or buckwheat pancakes).

We are foodies, as well, but we've learned that being a true foodie means appreciating the fresh, healthy food that goes into our bodies. Still, cookies are my husband's weakness. So, we work out a lot when we can and try to eat healthfully in other ways.

All the best on your journey and happy father's day!

Doug Skinner said...

@fieldingcarroll I appreciate your question...But I want to be clear that I am not eating too little...While my breakfast and lunch may seem meager, I do have have sensible snacks in the late morning and afternoon and my dinner is filling. I enjoy diary and gluten based products too much to cut them from my diet.

One of the important things for me is that I don't turn this into a diet where I restrict myself...I want this to be a diet I can live with and for me that means cutting back not restricting completely.

Thanks for the comment and the ideas!

Doug Skinner said...


Thanks for the tips, I have on occasion substituted my normal breakfast with eggs/whites and I have found it to be a nice change once in a while. I appreciate your comments and tips!


Doug Skinner said...

@MA I don't have any tips for the extra skin issues...I've been so focused on changing my diet and running that in order to cover up that extra skin I just wear baggier clothes. I'm guessing some core training might help that and I have found some great ideas (that I haven't started practicing yet) on you don't have to be a runner to try some of the excercises so look there and see what you find.

Doug Skinner said...

@RunGordoRun I checked out your blog...Good stuff over there, thanks for the comments!

Anonymous said...

Just read the story on CNN. So impressed and motivated. Keep it up! 6.19.2011

Anonymous said...

Read your story on CNN. Thanks for being such and inspirational father/blogger. You seem very down-to-earth. I completely agree about the portion sizes!!!! I try to take tips from my 2-year-old twins.....they stop eating when they're full. And I need to do that too. Plus, they are mine (and my husband's) inspiration to lose weight.

risioja said...

I really like your post you done great jobs. Thanks for valuable information.

Gloria R said...

We raised two kids and are award-winning songwriters. I was a teacher for 20 years. We’ve written upbeat & funny CDs for kids & parents & co-wrote an audio book for kids– –
KIDS CDs- reviewed by School Library Journal:
1.”Bubblebee: Songs for the Young at Heart”– 

2.”Be a Buddy, not a Bully”- “Positivity” & favorites from the other CDs 

3.”Tale of Aladdin and Bubblebee”–Audio book in rhyme; update of Aladdin legend